Are We Running Towards Something Or Away From Something?
Do you stay with the familiar or do you try something new? This decision is constant for humans and that we all have a different "default" state on where we fall on the spectrum with this, and often our comfort-level changes with the topic and weight of what is being decided. Over time this may stay the same or evolve, but it is a constant choice we must make as we work our way through our days and life. For myself and many travelers, this is taken to even more of an extreme as it relates to physical location. We have to decide if we want to stay in a place where we've developed a sense of more normalcy, routine, and relationships or jump off again to the unknown. Reasons for making the change can be merely a personality trait, lack of contentment for one reason or another, the way that someone chooses to challenge themselves to grow, the desire to experience something specific or that they are addicted to the vanity of saying they were somewhere. When making the next travel or life event decision (if I have the luxury of choice), I often ask myself whether or not I'm running from something or running towards something. There usually isn't a correct answer, but instead, it is a quick check to ground myself in the intentions of what I am doing. If I'm running from something, do I genuinely believe the environmental shift will supply the needed change I am looking for or will I carry forward a similar experience in a new place? There are many times where I don't know, or my answer has changed when looking back.
As I reflect upon exploring the countryside of the Santander department within Colombia, I realized how many fond memories I have of the country and why I want to return soon. As I've shared previously, there are incredible landscapes that include two oceans, jungles, Amazons, beaches, mountains, and volcanoes. The biodiversity of species can also be marveled whether plant types, fruits, birds, or other plants and animals. Cities range from a bustling/growing Latin American cities to charming colonials villages. The country like much of Latin America has a long and complex history, which can still be present at times and often influences many of the things I love about Colombia along with some of the things that would frustrate me the most. With all this, what I do hold most dearly within the country is the people and who I've met. Some are native Colombians, others are from elsewhere but decided to grow roots within the country, and some are also passing through for a more extended time. These people were previously strangers that I connected with mostly at random, and extended their kindness and time towards me to help me navigate both physically and culturally, learn about the history, understand different viewpoints, learn the language better, have a coffee or drink, and most importantly develop meaningful relationships with.
Life can have so many options that it can be challenging to decide on what to do. The dichotomy of choice is that it signifies how good of a life we live to have options, however, it can leave us emotionally drained. In the technology age, we are enabled to continually be connected to somewhere/someone else or looking for other options of almost anything. Thereby it can be a natural human tendency to not fully invest into the experience at hand as our dopamine will be craving that next notification, conversation, place, person, etc. We can continuously be running (whether to or from) but not sure why. For me, setting intentions and committing to them can help ground me with this. I set the intention and committed to pursuing a passion and now feel fully alive, even when at times I can stress about how to sustain it.